W(h)ither the academy? An exploration of the role of university social work in shaping the future of social work in Europe

Martin Webber, Mark Hardy, Simon Cauvain, Aino Kääriäinen, Mirja Satka, Laura Yliruka, Ian Shaw

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


A controversial proposal to pilot the training of child protection social workers through an intensive work-based route in England is being supported and funded by the UK government. Frontline, the brainchild of a former teacher, locates social work training within local authorities (‘the agency’) rather than university social work departments (‘the academy’) and has stimulated debate amongst social work academics about their role in shaping the direction of the profession. As a contribution to this debate, this paper explores the duality of social work education, which derives its knowledge from both the academic social sciences and the experience of practice within social work agencies. While social work education has traditionally been delivered by the academy, this paper also explores whether the delivery of training in the allied professions of probation and nursing by ‘the agency’ is equally effective. Finally, this paper explores the Helsinki model which achieves a synergy of ‘academy’ and ‘agency’. It suggests that there are alternative models of social work education, practice and research which avoid dichotomies between the ‘academy’ and the ‘agency’ and enable the profession to be shaped by both social work academics and practitioners.
LehtiEuropean Journal of Social Work
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2014
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


  • 5145 Sosiaalityö
  • Keywords: social work education; academy; agency; social work research; UK; Finland

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